No marvelous night for nothing

Ricky Martin sells out alone, as Van Morrison has no intention of playing Dubya's inaugural party; Probst says "Survivor II" participants got real desperate. Plus: Kathie Lee gets raw, and Britney gets a crib.

Published January 17, 2001 5:01PM (EST)

George W. Bush's cup of life may runneth over at his inauguration gala, but Jan. 18 will apparently not be a marvelous night for a moondance.

Reports that Van Morrison was planning to make like Ricky Martin and perform at the president-elect's big bash this week are "absolutely false," says Virgin Records.

"Mr. Morrison was never scheduled to appear at this event," Virgin added, "and has no intention of doing so."

No guru, no method, no teacher ... no singing for the dumb guy.

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A man after Van's heart

"Good luck, and the country would be better off if you were president."

-- Matt Damon, sharing his thoughts for Laura Bush, in Glamour.

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Outwit, outplay, outsnack?

Will we survive this?

Buzz-building pre-show comments about "Survivor II" are flowing fast and furious from the smirking lips of executive producer Mark Burnett and host Jeff Probst.

Burnett has been boasting that this show's group could eat Richard Hatch for lunch -- and Probst gleefully reports to Newsweek that the new castaways will not only eat bugs -- they'll scarf down an entire cow, too.

"They eat all the parts," Probst says, dimples flashing. "All the parts."

What's more, he says, the air of desperation is way more palpable this time around. "We could have asked these people to do anything," Probst tells TV Guide. "Pardon my language, but we could have said, 'Stick your thumb up your ass,' and they would have done it."

And Burnett, though he refrains from using the a-word, seems nearly as giddy with power. "We learned last year that human beings can suffer more," he says.

No, I don't think he was talking about the audience.

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Love don't cost a thing?

"I believe in unconditional love and doing things for people you care about."

-- Jennifer Lopez, explaining why she gave Puffy a $40,000 diamond pinkie ring on the eve of his upcoming weapons trial.

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Juicy bits

Talk about an air of desperation. NBC's response to "Survivor II"? Longer episodes of "Friends" and some live "Saturday Night Live" skits. Sure, that ought to do the trick! NBC is "not going to roll over and die" when challenged by "Survivor," NBC entertainment president Jeff Zucker told the press. Next thing you know, they'll be eating cows ...

If Kathie Lee Gifford's mom ever counseled "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all," her daughter wasn't listening. Asked on "The View" to comment on her old show's decision to bar her from promoting her new album, which apparently didn't sell too well, the sweatshop chanteuse emitted the following vitriol: "The only power I have is over my own choices and the way I act and the way I respond to things. And why other people do the things they do that might seem mean-spirited, or cruel, or vicious, or petty, or whatever it is in life, I can't control." Yes, well, apparently not.

Britney Spears has reportedly just plunked down $3 million for a new crib in Beverly Hills -- but Justin Timberlake won't be showing up, toothbrush in hand, just yet. It's that virginity thing. "Britney's parents are quite old-fashioned in their ways," one woman involved in the real estate transaction told the London Daily Star. "One of the moms said that Britney and Justin would have to get married before moving in." Then again, the property does have a guest house ...

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Lead us not into temptation

"We have had e-mails from people who want to come down and [re-enact] the show -- be seduced. I say we don't do that. Our staff is not equipped for that."

-- Holly Cabiedas, reservations manager for Captain Morgan's Retreat, the resort on Ambergris Caye used to house the men on "Temptation Island," in USA Today.

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Miss something? Read yesterday's Nothing Personal.

By Amy Reiter

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Britney Spears Celebrity George W. Bush Jennifer Lopez Survivor